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DROWSY DEFENDANT PUTS DRUG TRIAL IN RECESS

A federal judge recessed a hearing on cocaine charges until June 6 and ordered the defendant to undergo physical examination and urinalysis after the man kept falling asleep in court.

Defense attorney Ronald Yengich was in the middle of cross-examining a narcotics officer when U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Greene cut him off."I am not sure your defendant is able to aid in his own defense. He is so obviously sleepy I'm not sure if he can hear what's going on," Greene told Yengich.

John Francis Mannion was blinking heavily moments into the hearing Friday on the cocaine and firearm charges against him. Just before Greene stopped the proceeding less than 30 minutes later, he was continuously nodding off, shaking a bit and bringing his lowering head up again only briefly before dozing again.

After a brief recess and meeting in chambers, Greene ordered the recess and insisted that Mannion be taken to a doctor for the exam and drug testing.

Yengich said his client was fatigued from worrying about the charges and therefore not sleeping well the night before the hearing. He said Mannion wanted to continue with the hearing and "did not want to indicate to the court (by being sleepy) that he does not take this matter seriously."